Friday, January 28, 2011

You should expect the unexpected

I've talked before about how the only constant in life is change. Well, I have another mantra to add to that: the only thing you should expect from life is the unexpected.

Yeah, I know it sounds like an oxymoron, but seriously it's the truth. You may be coasting along (although I can't say my life in the last year has been coasting. . . more like a twisting and turning roller coaster) until you hit a pothole or something else happens. It could be serious or it could be minor, but my guess is that it'll throw you for a loop. And the only thing you can do about it is to dig your heels in and hold on for the ride.

I feel like that in the last couple of weeks. Although this isn't happening directly to me, it still affects me. Yes, I'm going to stop beating around the bush now and just tell you about it already.

Last week my sister went to get her thyroid checked. There was a reason why, but now I can't remember. They discovered a growth on it and told her it would need to be removed. She met with the surgeon on Monday and expected to have the growth taken out in about two weeks.


They called her Tuesday and said she was having surgery on Thursday. She was upset because she wasn't prepared for it to be that quick, but being the tough person she is, she dug her heels in for the ride. My parents made the trek up to be with her and her family, which I'm very glad about.

It turns out it was good they moved so quickly to remove the growth because it was cancerous. That meant instead of removing half her thyroid, they took all of it. She'll have to be on pills for the rest of her life without it, but if it means she's cancer free, she'll take it! She's now recovering in the hospital and just might get to go home tomorrow.

I've been told about several people who've had this very same thing happen and have made it through with flying colors. I'm hoping the same will be true for my dear sister. It did all happen very quickly, and with this type of cancer, the quicker they move, the better things work out. It tends to be contained, which is a very good thing.

I have to be honest though: the "c" word pretty much scares the heck out of me. It just has bad connotations, and I've known too many people back at home who've been negatively impacted by it. I'm praying hard such will not be the case for us though. Please remember my sister and her family in your prayers. We appreciate the help as we deal with something else unexpected.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

So I got brave today … and this is what happened

When I made my budget for this month, I was dismayed to discover there wasn’t going to be money to get my hair cut. Especially since in the last few weeks I was so frustrated with it that I wanted to scream.

And that’s when I decided to wait on getting the oil changed in my car (what’s a few more weeks in the grand scheme of things, especially since I’m not quite at my 3,000 miles yet) and just get my hair cut anyway. Here are the results of that choice.

A few weeks ago my hair looked like this:


Thanks to a trusted and talented hair stylist, it now looks like this:


Yeah I’m still getting used to it too. But I’m not sorry I made such a drastic change. Smile

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Yellow is a happy color

Today’s blog post is brought to you by the color yellow and the letter. . . hmm, not sure what letter this post is brought to you by. Maybe F because tomorrow’s Friday? Let’s go with that.

This is the first of what I hope will be many posts of me talking about little things I’m grateful for. Today that happens to be yellow. I have only a couple yellow shirts, but I love, love, LOVE them! I haven’t worn them for ages because they’re summer shirts and it’s winter outside. Until I realized I have a lovely new brown cardigan that will go perfectly over one of my yellow shirts making it possible for me to wear it in spite of the weather. Ta-dah!

Yellow is a happy color. It’s the color of sunshine, and since spring and summer are officially my two favorite seasons, I love things that remind me of them. I didn’t even know until about two years ago that I could wear it or that I’d like it so much. Now I just wish I had a few more yellow items of clothing. Perhaps that’ll be something I can invest in sometime in the near future. I suppose we’ll see.

Until then, I’m just happy to celebrate a lovely color. I hope you like it too! But don’t worry even if you don’t because we can still be friends. Smile

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Looking into 2011

I’m blogging a lot this weekend, but for the record, this particular post is one I’ve been meaning to write for a couple of weeks but somehow just haven’t gotten around to. Yes, I am referring to my goal-setting post.

I was so proud of myself last year for making the effort to write a post with my goals in it and then to report my progress as this year started. I don’t know that I’ve ever really done that before, but it was very effective. I’d like to continue my success by writing a few of my goals for 2011. I’m going to try to keep it simple, but I am me, so if I overexplain, just know it’s a weakness common to my sex.

1) Be more grateful — I have so many wonderful blessings in my life, but it galls me sometimes how ungrateful I am and thinking I always need more. I’d like to make a special effort to be more grateful and am already making efforts to do so from thank yous, to my calendar. I’d also like to write one post of something I’m grateful for, and none of them can be the same, each week.

2) Continue with physical fitness and healthy eating — I am very proud of myself for the progress I’ve made in the last year. I have done great with losing weight and incorporating more healthy eating. I’d like to continue this into the new year and maybe even to take it up a notch. As I’ve mentioned previously, I very much value my heart and my body so I want to take care of them.

3) Get out of debt — I looked online this weekend and discovered just how close I am to paying off my car, and all I can say is, “WA-HOO!!” I am determined to not only pay off my car, but also a tiny bit of credit card debt and my student loan. Before the year is out I want to call into Dave Ramsey’s radio show and loudly proclaim, “I’M DEBT FREE!!”

4) Improve my cooking skills — I think I do fine where cooking is concerned, but it’s pretty routine and can even be slightly boring. I’d like to take a few cooking classes, get brave and experiment with some new recipes or be mentored by people I’d consider to be great cooks. I know that I can do it. I’m just kicking myself a little bit for not taking up the Daily Deal from a couple months ago that was offering three or four cooking classes for a great price. Oh well!

5) Do something I’ve never done before that scares me — I want to be brave and bold and try something completely out of character for me like skydiving or paragliding. I’m not sure exactly what this looks like, but I’m determined to make it happen. I’ll report back on my progress.

6) Go to the temple twice a month every month this year — I’m faithful about making sure I go at least once a month, but I’d like to commit to upping that to twice a month this entire year. Of course I can always go more than that, but twice a month for sure. You think I can do it? I’m pretty sure I can.

Wish me luck, brave readers, as I embark on, in the words of my former bishop, “Making this the best year of my life.”

What is it men are really looking for?

A few weeks ago they made a change to my ward and the building where we meet. Apparently where singles wards are concerned the new thing is to create a hub where several singles wards all meet and then get us to mingle with one another. I’m sure the idea is to give us the chance to meet even more people than we would just from our ward. I love that the Church is sensitive to this need and is trying to address it.

Today, my ward, which meets in the afternoon, had a mingle with the two 9 a.m. wards that share our building. I wanted to support this endeavor and am fully committed to being more involved with my ward this year, no matter how much I think it’s going to kill me at times, so I made the effort to go. I ran into a couple friends from the ward as I walked in, which was great because then I could sit with them.

The only problem is that it’s slightly overwhelming to be in a huge group like that. I know I used to do it at school all the time but that was awhile ago now, and I’m afraid I’m out of practice. Plus people tend to stay where they’re comfortable, and I’m just as guilty as anyone else. I sat on the side next to my two friends and mostly people watched and observed. I did lean over to talk to a girl who sat down beside me, but she lost interest in the conversation when a guy she knew came over to sit by her.

One of the things I thought as I people watched is how many beautiful and attractive people were in the room. There were all kinds of pretty girls who were also dressed tastefully and stylishly. A lot of the men fell in the same category, except they were handsome as opposed to pretty.

I just had to wonder: with this many pretty people in one room, how in the world do you make yourself stand out? And what is it that men are really looking for in a girl, and along the same lines, how do you attract their attention long enough to show them you possess said qualities?

I looked at many of those girls and wondered why in the world these men haven’t already snapped them up. I know we all have our issues and perhaps habits we have to overcome, but surely that shouldn’t be a huge detriment to starting a relationship with someone. Yes, I know I’m oversimplifying, but what I mean to say is that really a good reason for not starting a relationship?

Dating is, in many respects, one of the necessary evils of the world. You have to do it, you have to play the game, so to speak, in order to reach the final goal, which in this case would be marriage. But my goodness it seems to be a complicated road anymore! Perhaps someday I’ll figure it out, and great things will happen. Until then, I guess I get to hang out with the rest of the herd, hoping to find a way to distinguish myself. Yikes!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Mr. Snowman’s Day with Aunt Tammy

I was delighted this week to receive a special assignment from my sweet Bumblebee. For an assignment in her kindergarten class, she had to mail a darling snowman she made to any member of the family. That person would then take the snowman with them for one day, write a story about what the snowman did and then mail it back. It’s to teach the kids about mail since people rarely send letters anymore. Out of everyone in the family she picked me for the assignment. I was more than a little excited to help out. She thinks I’m good at adventuring, so I decided I’d better prove her right. I have a reputation to maintain, you know. Winking smile

Mr. Snowman climbed into my bag before I headed to work. Here he is saying hello.


He rode to work with me on UTA Trax. Since I ride it every day it’s no longer a big deal for me, but Mr. Snowman could hardly contain his excitement.


After arriving in downtown Salt Lake City, Mr. Snowman came into my building with me. He sat proudly in my work space all day long and got several comments from my colleagues. They all thought it was great fun for him to visit.


Right around noon Mr. Snowman had the opportunity to do something very exciting: he visited the KSL Broadcast House with me to record the Zions Bank “Speaking on Business” spots for next week with the program host, Chris Redgrave, who happens to be my supervisor. He was excited to see how these two-minute radio spots are made. And he might’ve done a little bit of sightseeing while he was there. Who knew he was going to join the eyewitness news team and with the weatherman no less? Smile



While he was in downtown, Aunt Tammy decided Mr. Showman should do a little more sightseeing. So, she took him to the brand new Deseret Book flagship store on South Temple and to Temple Square before going back into the office. He’s a little hard to see in the picture on the right because he’s really tiny, but he was happy to be in the snow.



Mr. Snowman had a quiet afternoon helping Aunt Tammy make phone calls, write “Speaking on Business” scripts, send emails and conduct a few phone interviews with clients who will soon be featured on the program. Soon it was time to head home again. Mr. Snowman was excited to go to Zumba class at the gym with Aunt Tammy and her friend Smirk later that night. By the time he got home, he was plain tuckered out. As far as Aunt Tammy knows, he had a great day with her in Salt Lake.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Ugh! No more cold!

Today as I waited 15 minutes in the freezing cold for the next train because I barely, and I do mean barely, missed th one before and then felt the arctic blast of cold every time the door opened, I couldn't help thinking fondly of spring. I can't wait for the time when it's green outside again instead of white and gray. When it's more than 10 degrees and there's no more white stuff on the ground.

Basically, I'm sick of the cold! I hate, hate, hate being cold. And I don't like the pollution in the air either. I'm not outside enough to claim that it's necessarily having any effect on my cold, but the air is extremely dirty. One of my friends put her Facebook status the other day that she felt like wearning a mask when she went outside. I'm thinking that's not such a bad idea. . .

I hate to say it, but I'm to the point where I want it to snow because it'll have to warm up and the air won't be dirty anymore! I think on Sunday that I might get my wish, which is exciting! I know, I know I see the irony of that statement too. I whine about the snow just as much as anybody else, but in this case I'd welcome it. I guess we'll see what happens in the next few days.

Until then, here's to hoping I can stay warm! Spring is getting closer . . .

Saturday, January 1, 2011

At the close of 2010. . .

I had every intention of writing this yesterday and I didn’t get around to it as I intended. Sorry about that! But I’d still like to report on my progress because I did in fact make some great changes that I’m proud of. Yes, this is the official tooting of my own horn. Smile

I think the most appropriate way to track my progress is by revisiting my resolutions from 2010, so here goes.

1) My first goal was to take better charge of my money. It hasn’t happened in quite the time frame I was hoping for, but I’m happy to report that I’m still making progress! From September to mid December I co-taught a Financial Peace University class, and it has inspired me to truly take charge of my finances in a way I never have before. I’m not all the way there yet, but I am definitely making progress.Wa-hoo! I’m in a good position to pay off my car within a few months and my student loan shortly after that.

2) Shape up and trim up: I know this is many people’s goal for the new year, but as I mentioned at that time, I had a special reason for wanting to do so. I felt it was essential for me to take better care of my heart because of my beautiful niece was born with a bad heart and couldn’t ever do many of the things I can.

I have learned that progress and change come slowly and it wasn’t until about June that I really started to see the fruits of my labors. I’m happy to report that not only did I run my first 5K in June, but I have also lost over 30 pounds and am working on my fourth set of 10. I hoped to reach 50 by Christmas, but I didn’t quite make it. However, this is a goal I fully intend to continue into the new year. And now I know for sure I can do it!

3) Take up a new hobby: My true desire here was to take up jewelry making. I have successfully made several pieces of jewelry now (mostly watches), so I suppose I have made progress on this goal too. But it’s not as much as I intended. I’m going to do my best to do even better with this goal next year. With as much as I love jewelry, I’m sure I can do it. Perhaps I might even try another new hobby as well.

4) Find ways to leave my comfort zone more often: This goal has also been fulfilled, but not in the way I would have expected. I think it morphed a bit over the year and that’s the beautiful thing about goals right, that they can change? Instead, I wanted to teach myself to be okay with being alone. It’s something that I both love and hate, and when it comes right down to it, it makes me uncomfortable to be alone for too long by myself.

But, this year has taught me it’s okay. I have learned to be my own best friend and to not be afraid to do things on my own like going to a community ed class, shopping or to a movie. Much of this has come since I moved way further south than I had ever intended and have found myself alone much more than I would like oftentimes. It’s okay though. I’m getting better at it all the time.

5) Finally, I wanted to improve my understanding of hope. I have discovered just how powerful of an emotion hope is, but it hasn’t been in the way I thought or intended it would be.

Truly 2010 was one of the most trying years of my life. From the death of my beautiful niece in March to problems on the home front to changes at work, it has challenged me from start to finish. Not all the changes have been welcome, but I’ve learned to embrace them and have done my best to learn from them. As I mentioned in a previous post, I don’t feel like the same person now that I was a year ago. My heart still often hurts and is filled with sorrow because I miss Ashley so much. I know she’s in a better place and finally at peace, but that doesn’t change the fact that I’d rather still have her here with us.

The one bright shining spot in all of this is the love of my Father in Heaven and Savior Jesus Christ. I understand more about the Atonement and the power it has to heal and help us move on. I’ve learned that hope and faith are inseparably connected, and they can give you the power to move forward when nothing else can help. In the darkest moments of our lives, hope is a powerful force that pulls us on. This is a picture my brother took in Yellowstone and shows exactly what hope means to me.


Here’s to a bright 2011. Watch for my goal-setting post in the near future!